Anecdotes from non-traditional full-time electrical engineering student

It’s been actually hard to take a vacation. I feel a sense of not knowing what the heck I was doing for all that time, running like mad 80-100 hours/week. Collapsing into bed just to wake up 6 hours later and do it all again. I remember one of the generative events leading to this, when my hair started falling out from stress (thankfully grew back).

I think this sense of disorientation comes in part from not stepping back and taking stock. From using any vacation day to just do other work. Fix the roof, change oil, things I should have paid someone to do. No stepping back to think about specifically for my case, the rapidly changing wireless landscape and how post-transaction there just wasn’t going to be fast money here anymore.

I realized that pushing into newer radio tech like Passport was just a lateral move at best, a stop-loss technique. People need digital radios that track using GPS, built-in, not with all that stuff we cleverly hooked up, the very systems I implemented and designed. These are things that are in Nextel phones. Costly yes but people will pay.

At some point we’re going to get more virtual providers like Tracfone, except they will bundle data instead of minutes of call time. Cell phones too are going through perhaps the most rapid evolution I’ve seen. We’ve had 15 years of mobile data terminals and the pace has had a couple big jumps and I feel more are to come. We haven’t gotten there yet but I have seen it proposed in print too that someday phones will use Wifi, for voice and data. Stores and other public places will provide Wifi, where revenue is generated via advertising or some big bundling plan.

The skeptics say that the same things were said about Iridium and Globalstar, there were even hybrid terrestrial/satellite phones. But terrestrial coverage improved so fast that satellite phones stayed in their market niche.

The answer to this technological turmoil in wireless is to excel academically, to become more a generalist than an experientialist. I don’t like having initially chosen the wrong way, but a lot of people never find the right way. Even my wrong way was a lot more right than most wrongs; it leaves me able to explore academics without worrying about debt.